Sure, people visit Charleston for her history, architecture, fine dining and beaches. But plenty of folks visit armed with their golf clubs and ready to tackle some of the country’s best golf courses.
Charleston has long been a golfing city. In fact, Charleston lays claim to the first golf club when Scottish merchants formed the S.C. Golf Club back in 1786. Their early golf “course” was Harleston Green, a rough rectangle of space between the streets of what we now know as Calhoun and Beaufain from Rutledge to Barre, according to an article in The Post and Courier.
Fast forward a couple hundred years and Charleston is flush with world-class golf courses for all levels of player. If golf is on your vacation agenda, check out one of these five area courses:
1. The Ocean Course
Located on the eastern-most end of Kiawah Island, The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere; 10 are right along the Atlantic Ocean. In August 2012, Kiawah hosted the 94th annual PGA Championship, making it only the fifth course to host each of The PGA of America’s major championships – the Ryder Cup (1991), the Senior PGA Championship (2007) and the PGA Championship (2012). It will once again host the PGA in 2021.
2. Wild Dunes
Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms has two courses. The Wild Dunes Resort Links Course, a Tom Fazio course, has a finishing hole overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Also designed by Fazio, the Harbor Course is known for its challenging design and views of lagoons, marshes and the Intracoastal Waterway. Golf Digest calls Wild Dunes Resort among the “Best in State” for golf in South Carolina.
And, if you need to pick up a few pointers, Wild Dunes Resort has a golf school with professional golf instructors offering a variety of clinics, lessons and intensives.
3. Patroits Point Links
Located at the foot of the Cooper River Bridge in Mount Pleasant, Patriots Point Links on Charleston Harbor has views of Charleston, Fort Sumter, ships and Patriots Point. The course has a lighted driving range with PGA instruction, a southern style clubhouse and a golfers’ grill and patio.
4. Legends Oaks Golf Course
Surrounded by 300-year-old live oak trees and towering pines, Legends Oaks Golf Course in Summerville was named the 2010 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year by the Golf Course Owners Association. Located on a former rice plantation, Golf Styles Magazine also named it one Top 100 Courses in the Carolinas in 2007.
5. Charleston National Golf Club
Charleston National Golf Club, designed by Rees Jones and located in Mount Pleasant, is open to the public year round. It was rated by Golf Digest as the best non-resort course in the Charleston area.